Member of The Internet Defense League

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Understand the Privacy and Secuirty of your online lives.

Security and Privacy being an important part of our online lives, all the netizens should know how to handle it and keep the web healthy.

With the help of active and enthusiastic Mozilla Nasik community members, we decided to host the session on Privacy and security  over a coffee on 18th Jan.
The meetup was attended by 11 girls in total organized by the new Womoz volunteer from Nasik, Dhanashree Chaudhary.

We had a talk about Open web and privacy issue faced by a normal user over the web.
With a small dialogue with the girls it was clear that many of them did not do much to protect their privacy and security over the internet.
We showed them Firefox addon Lightbeam and how to use it, the tracking preferences they can set over Firefox and also the use of cookies.

The girls were delighted to know how they can make their content private and which has to be kept public. At the end of the meet some girls were inquisitive to talk with us about a potential session for all their classmates on the topic of Privacy and security.
As always ready the community members instantly decided to conduct a session and had a meeting with the college management for the arrangement of the session.

Event Page:
Blog post:

The management was helpful in providing a seminar hall with required resources for the session.
The College principal was very happy to learn about the volunteer work by the community members.

The event was scheduled for 21st Jan 2014. We couldn't make a swag request as the time gap between the event date and its discussion was very less.
We all looked around our repositories for remaining swags and found some Webmaker sticker to give away.

Done with all the slides, content and attendee preparations the session was initiated by me with a basic introduction to Privacy and Security over the internet.

Mayur Patil took the stage with session on deeper understanding of Open source, its importance for students and developers alike. With introduction to Mozilla, Firefox Browser, Webmaker and Firefox Student Ambassadors (FSA) program, he was successful in keeping the audience glued to their seats wanting to know more.

I then started with a talk on Understanding Privacy and Security and Taking control of your online lives.

Part 1: Questions asked to the audience.
  • Only adults are concerned with online safety?
  • Activity online is mostly negative to my future?
  • Parental controls remove most risk for youth online?
  • Kids shouldn't have access to social media until they are at least 16 years of age and are aware of risks?
  • Kids should be allowed to access the web at school?
  • I protect myself/my family online by?

A mix of positive and negative answers from the audience triggered the interactive session.

Part 2: Discussion on some to-do practices over the web to secure your Privacy.
  • Don't leave passwords in open spaces.
  • Protect your personal information.
  • Don't leave your computer unlocked.
  • Secure ALL devices with unique and secure passwords.
  • Don't click on emails, or links from people you don't know, or that solicit personal information.
About Cybersafety Discussions triggered on the topics of:
  • Don't share any photo publicly, you wouldn't share with your grandma.
  • Never disclose your whereabouts publicly, or disclose you are alone.
  • Respect the privacy of others, don't post or tag photos of people without their permission.
  • Do not meet, or give out your full name, address, or phone number to anyone online that you don't trust or know in person.

Part 3: Is internet a scary place to be?
It was an obvious question which troubled many minds.

Answer: Not at all, the internet is a fun place to be at. A lot of sharing, building and making is what makes the internet the happening place. Opportunity for all is the key.
Be positive, enjoy sharing and making things made possible by the web - is the Mantra.

Part 4: We then talked about the procedures we can use to secure our privacy on the web.
  •  Cookies
    • Understanding Cookies.
    • What they do?
    • What makes them useful/harmful?
    • Enabling and disabling them.
  • Mozilla Firefox
    • Privacy Settings
    • Tracking preferences
    • about:permissions
    • about:privatebrowsing
  • Lightbeam (Addon) -  
Lightbeam addon gives the user a complete insight into the third party websites who collect the user's browsing activity with or without the user's consent.

Displaying this information in an interactive visualization - Graph, Clock and List. The visualization grows with every site one visits and every request made from the browser. The Lightbeam demo turned many interested heads to think about their privacy online.

  • X-ray goggles -
    • Introduction to x-ray goggles.
    • Demo by basic remixing a news site.

The aim of this exercise was to make the audience understand what the web is made of, how easy it is to understand it and how can we maintain our privacy and security while playing with it.

Whats Next?
Mozilla Nasik community is planning a more practical oriented handson event at CMCS college Nasik for the interested who like to build the web.
The registrations soon will be out on the Mozilla Nasik Blog and Mozilla Nasik Community Facebook group.
How to make optimum usage of Firefox, understanding about:config, about:permissions and about:privatebrowsing.
Create a FSA group at the college for further Mozilla activities.

Community members who attended the event:




1 comment:

  1. Hello, Great article! Thanks for the information, I think others will find this useful.
    Data privacy and security in Bangalore